If you have suffered an injury from a slip & fall accident, you need to take quick and thorough action to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
No one expects they will leave their home today and have a catastrophic fall. However, slip and fall accidents can happen to anyone, anywhere, and at any time.
If you suffered injuries in a slip and fall accident in New York, you could have the right to pursue compensation from the responsible parties.
If you plan to bring a claim for damages, there are specific steps you should take to improve your chances of receiving the full compensation you deserve.
Read on to learn these 7 steps to take after a slip and fall accident New York.
What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident in New York
If you want the best chances of obtaining the best outcome for your slip and fall accident claim, you should take the following steps:
- Seek Timely Medical Treatment
- Report the Accident
- Document the Scene
- Keep Thorough Records
- Consult a New York Slip and Fall Attorney
- File a Lawsuit
- Set Realistic Expectations
1. Seek Timely Medical Treatment
The first thing you should do following a slip and fall accident is to seek medical attention. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you might need emergency transportation. Even if you don’t think your injuries are severe, it is still essential to get checked out by a doctor.
Some injuries, such as a concussion or internal organ damage, may not be immediately apparent. Additionally, seeking medical attention will help establish a clear link between your injuries and the accident.
2. Report the Accident
Slip and falls can happen on public property, business establishments, and even private homes. If your slip and fall accident occurred on someone else’s property, you should report the accident to the property owner or manager as soon as possible.
If your injuries are not life-threatening, you might report the accident first before seeking medical attention. For example, if you fall in a grocery store, report—if at all possible—the accident before leaving the premises.
Taking this step helps establish the legitimacy of your claim. If any witnesses were present, you should get their names and contact information.
3. Document the Scene
If you can do so without further injuring yourself, take photos of the accident scene. Include pictures of:
- The place where you fell,
- The condition of the surface that caused the fall, and
- Any hazards that may have contributed to the fall.
If you cannot take photos and someone else is present, ask them if they mind taking a few photos to help document your injuries and the dangerous condition that led to your fall.
4. Keep Thorough Records
Keep detailed records of all your accident-related expenses. Documentation includes:
- Medical bills for hospitalization, emergency room treatment, diagnostic tests, surgery, follow-up treatment, physical therapy, etc.;
- Lost wages, including future loss of earning capacity; and
- Any other expenses you incurred because of the accident.
Detailed records will help when presenting a claim to the defendant’s insurance company. It would help if you also considered keeping a pain journal, documenting how the accident impacts your daily life. You may need to refer back to the initial days of the injuries a year or two into litigation.
5. Consult a New York Slip and Fall Attorney
It’s crucial to consult with an attorney with experience in slip and fall accidents. An attorney can help you navigate the legal process, protect your rights, and help you to fight for the compensation you deserve. Slip and fall accidents fall under premises liability laws.
In New York, these laws hold property owners accountable for maintaining safe conditions on their property.
To prove negligence in a slip and fall case, you must demonstrate that the property owner:
- Knew or should have known about the dangerous condition, and
- Failed to take reasonable steps to fix it or warn visitors
Your New York slip and fall attorney can help you to gather the necessary evidence to prove negligence and help you to negotiate a settlement with the property owner or their insurance company.
Don’t wait to contact a slip and fall lawyer in New York. Time is of the essence with these types of claims. We need to get hold of any potential video footage before it’s deleted, speak with witnesses, take scene photos, and more. There’s also the chance of missing critical legal deadlines in the meantime.
6. File a Lawsuit
Like other types of personal injury accidents, you must resolve your claim within a certain amount of time, or you will need to file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires. In New York, the statute of limitations for slip and fall accidents is three years from the date of the accident.
However, some claims might have different deadlines, such as a claim involving a municipality. You might have as little as six months to file an administrative claim against the government.
Therefore, it is essential to file a claim as soon as possible. That’s why we also recommend speaking with a lawyer at the start of the claims process. One of the many benefits of hiring a lawyer is that you won’t need to worry about missing legal deadlines. Your attorney will file the lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires.
7. Set Realistic Expectations
Slip and fall claims are notoriously complex to resolve. Insurance companies for property owners look at these claims with skepticism because some people file fraudulent claims. These fraud rings and unscrupulous individuals hurt legitimately injured victims who deserve compensation for their injuries.
Because of this, it’s common for insurance companies to deny slip and fall claims. It might be necessary to proceed with litigation before the defendant’s insurance company agrees to a settlement. That means your lawsuit could take considerably longer to resolve when compared to an auto accident claim.
Contact Anthony A. Ferrante
While it’s true that some slip and falls are genuine accidents, many others are the result of a dangerous condition on someone else’s property. Slip and fall accidents can result in various injuries, including broken bones, head injuries, and back injuries.
These injuries can be severe and have a lasting impact on your quality of life. That is why you need to pursue compensation for your injuries and help cover the cost of medical treatment, lost wages, and other expenses related to your injury.
If you suffered injuries because of another party’s negligence, please contact attorney Anthony A. Ferrante to schedule an initial consultation.